Part of Grid Network »

The Grid Professionals Group covers electric current from its transmission step down to each customer's home. 


You need to be a member of Energy Central to access some features and content. Please or register to continue.

Recorded Webinar

The Value of Diversifying Uncertain Renewable Generation through the Transmission System

image credit:

Access Recorded Webinar

Over the past two years, the U.S. has seen a significant increase in renewable generation and the number of states targeting net-zero CO2 emissions. Achieving these policies will require the integration of unprecedented amounts of additional renewable generating capacity. The transmission grid has a central role to play in this transition, and expanding the grid can provide substantial value by reducing the overall costs of integrating these resources.

Quantifying this transmission-related value potential, however, is challenging. It requires analytical approaches that capture the benefits of transmission for accessing low-cost renewable generation and unlocking geographic diversity of renewable generation to manage its variability and uncertainty.

Drawing on the results of a newly published Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy case study, the authors discuss the transmission grid’s value for lowering the cost of integrating renewable generation through geographic diversification. Based on key findings, for renewable generation levels from 10% to 60% of annual energy consumption, interconnecting two power market sub-regions with different wind regimes through transmission investments can reduce annual production costs by between 2% and 23% and annual renewable curtailments by 45% to 90%. The study also documents the importance of considering day-ahead forecasting uncertainty and real-time variability in quantifying this value.

Moderator: Peter Fox-Penner, ISE Director

Discussant: Rob Gramlich, Founder and President, Grid Strategies LLC

Report Authors:

Johannes Pfeifenberger, ISE Senior Fellow, Principal, The Brattle Group
Pfeifenberger is a Senior Fellow at the ISE where he focuses on the transmission grid’s role in decarbonizing the economy. He is also a Visiting Scholar at MIT and a partner at The Brattle Group, an energy and finance consulting firm, where he has previously led the firm’s energy practice. Pfeifenberger is both an economist and an engineer with deep experience in wholesale power market design, renewable energy, electricity storage, and transmission.

Pablo Ruiz, ISE Affiliated Faculty, Senior Consultant, The Brattle Group
Ruiz is a Research Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and an affiliated faculty with the ISE. He is also CEO and CTO of NewGrid, a transmission optimization software startup spun-off of an ARPA-E research project at BU, and a Senior Consultant at The Brattle Group. Ruiz’s work focuses on power system operations and planning under high renewables penetration, transmission, storage, and electricity market modeling and design.

Kai Van Horn, Principal Analyst, National Grid USA
Van Horn is an expert in leveraging electricity system modeling, analysis, and visualization to illuminate the impacts of the energy transition and develop and communicate strategic responses. As a Principal Analyst of US Market Fundamentals at National Grid USA, Van Horn is exploring pathways to deep decarbonization and the challenges and opportunities they create for utilities and their customers.

Access Recorded Webinar


Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Oct 22, 2020

 interconnecting two power market sub-regions with different wind regimes through transmission investments can reduce annual production costs by between 2% and 23% and annual renewable curtailments by 45% to 90%

This is so key-- especially in a country as large and geographically diverse as the United States. Create the distributed and clean energy that's possible based on location, and invest in the efficient, smart, & reliable T&D infrastructure that can best move that energy to where it's most needed at any given point (and supplement that, of course, with energy storage ASAP to maximize the impact of moving the energy around)

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Dr. Amal Khashab on Oct 22, 2020

Thanks for giving a link to the case study's report.

Jacquie  Ashmore's picture

Thank Jacquie for the Post!

Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »